Trifecta – The New Normal

Trifecta – The New Normal

Trifecta’s second album, The New Normal is an album of fusion music, combining any number of genres and as such it won’t be to everyone’s taste. It is the equivalent of picking up a comic, such as the Beano or Viz, and marvelling at the creativity whilst not necessarily finding all the jokes funny. The album leans quite heavily into jazz territory but it also contains rock, prog and pop elements, as well as surrealism, wit and whimsy, and at the heart of it is the joy that comes from a band that is never taking itself too seriously.

We all know the pedigree of the three members of the band so it is no surprise that the artistic focus that Nick Beggs, Adam Holzman and Craig Blundell each bring to the project has produced an album full of quality and also full of surprises. It would be easy to reference artists such as Dixie Dregs, Bill Bruford, Frank Zappa or Sparks to give you an idea of what you will be hearing on the album, but what marks Trifecta out is that it all feels fresh, and dare I say it, incomparable?

There is great variety in the style of songs, but the band doesn’t let them outstay their welcome. There are many intricate patterns weaved and a wide variety of instrumentation on show, but the virtuosity is not extended any further than it needs to be and somehow everything that happens seems to fit into place. The ‘fun’ elements of spoken-word jokiness spread across the set do become less and less ‘fun’ on repeated spins, they don’t age as well as the music does, that’s for sure, but they create a feeling that this is an artistic event, not just a playlist of songs.

My imagination is not deep enough to explain away songs like Stroboscopic Fennel so here are some choice reactions that I had listening to the album.

– Funky, happy music, cool tones and lots going on….
– Wtf? Comedy lyrics, spoken word, does this work?
– Taking a melody and funking it up….
– Didgeridoo! Mad, in a good way, rave music for the ageing prog community….
– 70’s US detective theme tune!
– More funkiness and more new sounds!
– Skip the bickering and get to the point, will you? Parody pop song, meh.
– Fusion in a classical music setting,
– Fusion in a lounge music setting….
– Serious pop song, heartfelt, a nugget….
– More bickering, unnecessary now….
– Strong finish, some more jazzy rock fusion, a cool song about a canary and a hint of proggy darkness to close.

Trifecta will always be an experimental band, improvising their own brand of fusion music that will have you listening in wonder one minute and scratching your head the next. Like the first album Fragments, this album is a mixed bag, but whether it’s your ‘thing’ or not, you will at least have a smile on your face when it’s playing.

Ed’s note – look who’s guesting on track 13!

01. Beck And Call (2:43)
02. Dot Are You Wooing (0:53)
03. Stroboscopic Fennel (2:24)
04. Just Feel It Karen (3:55)
05. Sibling Rivalry (4:00)
06. Ornamental Lettuce (2:17)
07. Daddy Long Legs (4:12)
08. What Are You Doing (0:53)
09. Stupid Pop Song (3:41)
10. Crime Spree (3:14)
11. Bach Stabber (2:07)
12. Kleptocrat (2:36)
13. Once Around The Sun With You (4:03)
14. Chinese Fire Drill (3:27)
15. Ouch! My OCD (1:17)
16. Wake Up Call (3:46)
17. Wacky Tobaccy (3:28)
18. Canary In A Five And Dime (3:56)
19. On The Spectrum (3:31)

Total Time – 57:00

Nick Beggs – Bass, Chapman Stick
Craig Blundell – Drums
Adam Holzman – Keyboards
~ With:
Alex Lifeson – Guitar (13)
Theo Travis – Saxophone (7)

Record Label: Kscope Music
Country of Origin: U.K./U.S.A.
Date of Release: 12th April 2024

Trifecta – Website | Facebook | Bandcamp